These Strawberry Rhubarb Tilapia Tacos are filled with a strawberry cole slaw, sweetened rhubarb, and ginger seared tilapia.
Last month, I flew to Florida for the best friend’s wedding. I spent my time getting the obligatory ‘I wore SPF 5 million but I’m insanely white’-sunburn, crying ugly (but happy) tears as she walked down the aisle, and eating as much fresh seafood as humanly possible. What kind of seafood? We ate oysters– of course– because I can’t find those at home, but also mahi mahi, grouper, and whatever type of fish tacos I could find.
When I got home, I couldn’t stop thinking about fish tacos– savory fish tacos, fish tacos with fruity salsa– I wanted them all! These Strawberry Rhubarb Tilapia tacos are the brainchild of my seafood-obsessed mind and the piles of rhubarb and strawberries I brought home from the market last week. Want some? Keep reading!
Making Strawberry Rhubarb Tilapia Tacos
To make these Strawberry Rhubarb Tilapia Tacos, start by cooking down and sweetening the rhubarb. All you need to do is dice up some rhubarb, add it to a pot with a little sugar and water, and bring it to a boil. Then, simmer it until the rhubarb starts to fall apart. You’re going to strain off the sweetened water (a.k.a.– rhubarb simple syrup), and put it in another container. Don’t throw the syrup away! Instead– save it, and make margaritas, pour it over some yogurt, or add it to some sparkling water! Set the sweetened rhubarb aside.
Next, finely dice or shred a little cabbage, and toss it with some diced strawberries. Set this aside too.
To prepare the tilapia, dry it off as much as possible. Then dust it with ground ginger and a little salt. Sear it on a hot pan, and then cut it into strips. You’ll add the tilapia, rhubarb, and strawberry-cabbage mixture to some tortillas, add a dollop of yogurt to each taco, and dig in immediately!
TIPS FOR SEARING Tilapia
- If possible, let the fish come to room temperature before searing. Remove fish from the fridge about 20 minutes before you need to cook it, or at the very least take it out of the fridge before you start prepping all your ingredients.
- Dry the fish thoroughly– wet fish will stick to the pan.
- If your fish sticks when you try to flip it, wait and let it cook a little longer.
- Add the fish to the pan, and then don’t touch it until it’s time to flip– nudging it in the pan will cause the fish to tear.
Strawberry Rhubarb Tilapia Tacos
Easy Springtime Seafood Tacos
Sweetened Rhubarb* (See Recipe Notes)
- 1 stalk rhubarb, diced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 fillets tilapia
- 1.4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 TB olive oil
Strawberry Cole Slaw:
- 1 cup cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup strawberries, hulled and diced
Other Taco Ingredients:
- 4 6" flour tortillas
- 2 TB plain yogurt
- Optional: cilantro, lime wedges
Add rhubarb and sugar to a small pot, and fill pot with just enough water to cover the rhubarb. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium. Cover, and simmer until the rhubarb stalks begin to fall apart.
Strain sugar-water off of the rhubarb into another container, reserving 'rhubarb simple syrup' for another recipe if desired. Allow rhubarb to cool to room temperature. (If desired, put rhubarb in the fridge to speed cooling process.)
Pat tilapia dry. Pat dry again. (Wet fish will not sear). Rub fish on both sides with ginger, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a stainless steel or cast iron pan over medium-high heat, until oil is hot and shimmers.
While pan is heating up, toss together cabbage and strawberries, and set aside. Heat tortillas for 15 seconds in the microwave. Divide the cabbage and strawberry mixture between the tortillas. Divide all of the rhubarb between the tortillas.
Place the fillets in the pan and set a timer for 2 minutes. Don't touch the fillets until the 2 minutes are up. Then, use a thin metal spatula to flip them. If they won't release- give them another 30 seconds. They'll release when they've finished cooking. Flip tilapia, and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until fish releases from the pan without sticking to it.
Remove tilapia from the heat, and cut into long thin strips. Divide the fish among the tortillas. Top each taco with a dollop of yogurt. Serve immediately with cilantro and a lime wedge (optional).
*Faster Cook Time: The Sweetened Rhubarb can be made ahead to shorten cook time to 15 minutes.
*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal. Since the sugar used to cook the rhubarb is mostly drained away, the calorie calculations assume 1/4 cup sugar total is consumed instead of 1/2 cup, but are an estimation.